When it comes to Android tablets with detachable keyboards, one name comes to mind: Transformer. There's no denying that ASUS has carved out a pretty specific niche in the Android tablet/laptop convertible category. HP is looking to change that with the SlateBook x2, a 10.2-inch Android tablet with a keyboard dock that essentially converts it to an Android-powered laptop. It's small enough to fall into the "netbook" category, but that's a dirty word I try to stay away from.
We're at a crucial time for Android tablets. The little green robot is finally starting to gain some traction in the tablet space, manufacturers are beginning to realize what users want from their devices on many different levels (price, hardware, etc.), and the newest versions of Android work as flawlessly on large devices as they do on small.
The front runner of this Android tablet "revolution" was last year's Nexus 7, the flagship tablet from Google that literally changed the entire landscape.
I like tablets, and I love tablet apps. Don’t take that the wrong way - I love my Nexus 4, and I use it constantly, but there’s something different about tablets. A large, beautiful screen filled by an app that really shows off the functionality that comes with Android's design language is a great experience. Make that tablet super portable, fast, and priced right, and you’ve got my heart.
Okay, maybe that’s not all it takes for a tablet to win my heart.
The ASUS Transformer AiO is undoubtedly one of the most interesting pieces of Android-powered tech that we've seen in the past year or so. As a member of the Transformer family it's made to convert from one device category to another, but unlike the "typical" Transformers that we're used to seeing from ASUS, this one doesn't change from tablet to laptop – it's both a full Windows 8-powered desktop PC and a gigantic Android tablet.
Back in early 2012, if you would've said the name "Fuhu" to me, I would've paid no mind to your gibberish and went on about my business. Then in June I got my hands on the nabi 2 – a tablet designed specifically for children – and it put Fuhu on the map in a big way (for me, at least). For $200, the nabi 2 was (and still is) a seriously fantastic piece of hardware for the child in your life.
When I first read the specs and saw pictures of the MeMO Pad Smart, the only thing that popped into my mind was this is just like a TF300, minus the dock. It was beyond me why ASUS would even build a tablet that is essentially identical to one of its other tablets. Sure, the price is $50 lower, but still – is there really a market for this?
I imagine that, like me, the majority of you also judged this tablet based merely on the spec sheet.
So, the MediaPad 7 Lite from Huawei. Maybe you've heard of it. Maybe you haven't. What it is, though, is a "budget" - and I use that term loosely - tablet with a 7-inch form factor. Of course, automatic comparisons to the Nexus 7 are going to be drawn here, and without getting further into the review, I can tell you this: it's not better. It's not as good. In fact, it's not even half the tablet that the Nexus 7 is, and I mean that both in terms of hardware specifications and in actual performance.
Over the past couple of years, Android tablets haven't really lived up to their full potential. We've seen multiple "game changers" or "iPad killers" come and go - yet the landscape has remained the same; that is, not very good. Further proving this, the best selling Android tablet of all time isn't an Android tablet at all - it's a Kindle. The Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD have been selling like hotcakes, but that really has nothing to do with Android - it's all about Amazon services.
At the end of June, Google unveiled its first Nexus-branded tablet to the world: the Nexus 7. Since then, it has become the premier Android tablet, which is now selling at nearly a million units each month. For good reason - it's a fantastic tablet.
Despite the storm that rocked NYC, three days ago Google took the wraps off the latest addition to the Nexus tablet family: the Nexus 10.
For part one (the review of the A2109), please click here.
There's no doubt the Android tablet market is heating up much like the phone market was a few years ago. Where before there were relatively few choices, manufacturers are now rolling out new models left and right - sometimes, it seems, with reckless abandon.